Pixel Fold and Tablet users get the old taskbar back with Android 15 DP2

The new overview multitasking UI on the inner display of the Google Pixel Fold
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • With the second Android 15 Developer Preview, users can choose between a pinned or hidden taskbar on large-screened Pixel devices. 
  • The option marks the return of the Android 12L-style taskbar, which was present at the bottom of the screen all the time. 
  • Now, Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet users can employ a persistent taskbar for multitasking or a hidden taskbar for extra screen real estate. 

Google sent out the second Android 15 Developer Preview this past week, and it includes a change that'll benefit owners of the Google Pixel Fold or Pixel Tablet.

Now that the company makes a few big-screened devices, Google has been swiftly optimizing Android for larger displays. Part of that effort included adding the taskbar as a way to quickly launch apps and multitask from anywhere in Android, and starting with Android 15 DP2, users have the choice of having a pinned or floating taskbar. 

Since it was introduced a few years ago, the taskbar has evolved quite a bit. In Android 12L, it was a permanent fixture at the bottom of large Android devices. It remained on the screen while users opened up other apps, thus cutting into the total screen space available. That's why Google reversed course in Android 13, transitioning the taskbar into a floating oval that could be shown or hidden as needed. However, there was never a way to choose between these taskbar variants. 

That is, until now. Android expert Mishaal Rahman at Android Authority first noticed the option to choose between taskbar styles in Android 15 DP2. After tapping and holding on an open space in the taskbar, a new Always show taskbar toggle will appear. There's a toggle beside it, and tapping the toggle will transition the windowed taskbar into the pinned taskbar.

While the Android 15 DP2 version of the floating taskbar is visually updated with the new Android design language, it's more or less functionally identical to the old version. 

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There are clear benefits to going with each taskbar version. The pinned taskbar option makes it easier to call up new apps, create multitasking views, and switch between active apps. On the other hand, the floating taskbar gives you more screen space to fill up with Android apps. The good thing about the Android 15 DP2 change is that Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet users now have the option of choosing the taskbar version they prefer best.

Brady Snyder
Contributor

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.